Deadline reports that while there's no official deal in place just yet, Comer is Scott's first choice to play Joséphine de Beauharnais, the woman who eventually becomes Napoleon's first wife and Empress of the French. Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix has already been tapped to play Napoleon himself, reportedly thanks to his performance as the Emperor Commodus in Scott's Gladiator.
The film’s title is derived from the saying “There is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag.” It's set to be an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love.
While the intention of the film is to capture Napoleon’s famous battles, ambition, and strategic mind, it's his volatile relationship with Josephine that will power the story, as he would likely never become the leader he was if not for her presence in his life.
As exciting as Comer's involvement in this film is, one does sort of have to side-eye a Hollywood that thinks it's completely okay to cast a twenty-seven-year-old female actress opposite to play the wife of a man almost twenty years her senior when in real life Josephine Bonaparte was actually six years older than her husband. The patriarchy ruins the party again, I guess.
“Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by,” Scott told Deadline earlier this year. “He came out of nowhere to rule everything — but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Joséphine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.”
Production isn't slated to start until early 2022, so it's likely we won't see Kitbag until late next year, or possibly even 2023. But given Comer's talent - and past experience with period dramas - it should certainly be worth the wait.
What do you think of the concept of Kitbag or Comer as Josephine? Let's discuss in the comments.